Author: 梦溪石 / Meng Xi Shi
Translator: Kinky || https://kinkytranslations.com/
Li Han’er took the Shangqing pill, dumbfounded. Without hurrying to eat it, she put it in her pocket and pointed her fingers at Dong Zhi’s chest.
“Boss, your clothes are torn. Don’t you feel air leaking in?”
Before Dong Zhi had time to understand the significance of the change from addressing him as captain to boss, he hurriedly looked down.
He was wearing two pieces of clothing; a down jacket on the outside and a long-sleeve one-piece on the inside. They were both torn by the collar just now. Not only was the white stuffing exposed, but even the shirt inside was torn. Not to mention, when Li Han’er mentioned it, he suddenly felt his skin being blown by a cold wind and got goosebumps all over.
Dong Zhi covered it with his hands and said embarrassedly, “I’m exposed.”
Liu Qingbo was speechless. “Grand master, what’s wrong with being looked at?”
Dong Zhi laughed and said, “There are two ladies present!”
Li Han’er said, “Did anyone bring a sewing kit? I can sew it back up. Otherwise, you won’t be able to wear them. It’ll always leak.”
Liu Qingbo: “…Except for him, no one else would take that kind of thing on a long trip like this.”
Dong Zhi said, “I didn’t bring a needle and thread, but I brought something else. Lao Liu, where’s my bag?”
Just now, everyone had put their backpacks next to the campfire. When the zombies came, they immediately turned the sky asunder, so who would keep in mind their backpacks? Fortunately, the zombies weren’t interested in the backpacks. Although they were scattered, their luggage was still there.
Liu Qingbo grabbed Dong Zhi’s backpack, and he couldn’t help baring his teeth. “What the hell is in here? Why is it so heavy?”
“It’s okay. Just some daily necessities,” Dong Zhi said while rummaging inside for a long time. He finally found a compressed vacuum bag. He opened the zipper exposing the vacuum bag to the air, and the thing inside expanded quickly. At first glance, it turned out to be a brand-new down jacket.
Liu Qingbo felt like he was going crazy. “What the hell is up with your backpack?!”
Dong Zhi said innocently, “I brought some spare clothes. After all, we’re on an island. In case it’s windy and rainy, won’t it be uncomfortable if your clothes get wet? Well, this just happened.”
Liu Qingbo expressed serious doubt. “The weight of your backpack just now doesn’t seem to have the weight of an extra down jacket.”
Dong Zhi thought for a while. “Oh, that might be the two cans of canned beef. I was planning to take them out when we go to another island in two days. We’ll eat them in front of the other teams and make them jealous to death while we get to eat good food.
Liu Qingbo didn’t want to talk anymore, and everyone else laughed.
Dong Zhi asked strangely, “Why, don’t you like to eat beef? Xiao Zhang, you practice Quanzhen* so you’re vegetarian, right?”
*Currently one of the two dominant denominations of Daoism in China. You can read more about it on Wikipedia.
Zhang Song was annoyed. “I’m not a vegetarian! Didn’t you already call me Lao Zhang before? Why did you change it again? Stop calling me xiao!”
Dong Zhi responded, “It turns out you like to be called Lao Zhang. Before, you were just being duplicitous and were too embarrassed to say it. You should have told me earlier. I also think Lao Zhang is better. Calling you Xiao Zhang makes me seem old.”
He looked at Zhang Song’s grinding teeth with an expression that was saying: You should’ve said something earlier.
The trip on the island had just begun, and everyone understood that there were even greater challenges ahead of them. This was just a small battle. Everyone needed to relax. It was also clear that Dong Zhi was just joking to lighten the atmosphere.
In contrast, Yoshida, as an outsider, couldn’t mix in.
There were only four people on her team. Now, except for her, two had died, and one was still unaccounted for. Until they set off again the next day and traveled all the way through the forest, she had little hope of seeing her missing companion again. The jungle covered a large area. If it weren’t for her good luck, Yoshida wouldn’t have met Dong Zhi and the others, and even if she hadn’t died at the hands of the zombies, she most likely would be lost in the boundless dark forest, lingering on her last breath without knowing whether she would live or die.
In the second half of the night and even the next day, they set off again. Until the evening of that day, everything proceeded smoothly, and everyone walked out of the forest. It seemed they had wiped out the zombies, as they never appeared again.
The sea broke into everyone’s sight again. It just happened to be high tide. The sea surged in and splashed heavily against the rocks, causing waves a few meters high. This wasn’t the place where they landed, but there were still several speed boats tied to a boulder on the shore, and there were also some jars next to them. They were tied to the stones with ropes and floated heavily in the rising and retreating tide, but they wouldn’t be washed away.
The fog was vast, which reduced the visibility of the sea by a lot. There was really nothing to see, but since they had spent a few days in the forest and only saw gloomy trees and zombies, looking at the sea immediately made the stuffiness in their chest disappear. Their mood had lightened up a lot, and even their breathing became refreshed. Zhang Song couldn’t help but stretch his arms open and embrace the sea breeze. The clothes on his body were blown by the wind, creating flapping sounds. Standing on the reefs, there was a sense of floating on the wind.
But at the moment, the wind was high, the waves were rough, and it was going to be dark again. It was obviously not suitable for sailing yet. Everyone opened the jars and poured the fresh water in them into their own water bottles. They were ready to spend the night on the rocky beach and set off tomorrow morning, depending on the weather.
Since Yoshida was by herself, it was obviously impossible to continue the competition. She planned to wait here a few more days. If her missing companion didn’t come out by then, she would leave the island and quit the competition. There were several speedboats, and the storage capacity of the fresh water tanks was sufficient. Since Yoshida had made up her mind, Dong Zhi didn’t try to persuade her. He wished her a smooth journey and would contact her when he returned to China. He also opened a can of canned beef in advance and cooked it with noodles around the campfire that night. It was regarded as their memorial to their last night on Diana Island.
When the last ray of light receded from the white mist and the world finally returned to night, not far behind the campfire, the dark forest was still lifeless and desolated, with only the footprints they left behind.
Dong Zhi glanced back at the dense forest shrouded in mist, took out an empty box that Eguchi had used to release the demonic qi from his pocket, and weighed it. Then he pulled back his arm and tossed it hard. The box made an arc and fell directly into the sea, where it was swept away by the waves and disappeared.
An elderly man with mixed black and gray hair stepped out of a hotel. He put on a bright yellow tour hat and walked out of the hotel, pausing every few steps to take out his phone to take pictures of the pedestrians on the street. He would show admiration from time to time, making it easy to guess his identity. Maybe he was someone from a small town who stayed there all his life, and this was the first time he went abroad and came to Japan with a tour group for sightseeing, but he accidently fell behind since he was casually strolling along and didn’t look rushed at all.
He slowly came to the outside of the Atsuta Shrine, and just in front of him was the tour group that was preparing to enter. He quickly hastened his steps to catch up to the others. When they saw him dressed in a similar hat, they didn’t pay much attention. The old man followed the foreign tourists in line and leaned towards the Chinese tour guide. After listening to the introduction, he turned around and went to the bathroom until the tour group moved on to the next attraction.
A few minutes later, the old man came out of the bathroom, didn’t seem rushed to catch up to the tour group, and instead walked in the opposite direction.
Atsuta Shrine was an open tourist attraction, but not every place was open. There was a hidden path between the Hakkengū and the Yaoyorozu Shrine. There was a sign indicating that visitors weren’t allowed to enter. A normal tourist would usually stop here, but the old man continued to walk forward.
There was a courtyard at the end of the path. Hidden among the sparse shadows of flowers and trees, the scene inside couldn’t be seen clearly through the fence. There was no one around, and the courtyard door was closed.
The old man didn’t approach. He just watched quietly for a while, then turned around and was about to leave, but at this time the courtyard door opened behind him, and someone stopped him.
“Guest from afar from China. My master wants to see you.”
The other party spoke in Chinese, but his accent was weird. It sounded like he was just a beginner.
The old man turned his head and saw a young boy in traditional clothes standing there.
“What are you talking about?” The old man looked confused as he spoke in a thick Chinese accent.
The boy was also a little puzzled when he heard his response, not sure if this was the person his master was looking for. The two looked at each other for a moment, and the old man waved his hands. “It’s not uncommon for someone to get lost. I’m in the wrong place!”
He raised his foot and was about to leave, but unexpectedly, another person appeared in the place where the trail led to the exit. The other person looked a little older than the boy behind him.
“Sir, since you’re here, why pretend we don’t know each other?”
This young man was much more fluent in Chinese. There was a smile on his handsome face, but there was obvious malice in his smile.
The old man’s confusion became stronger. “Know what? I came with a tour group, and I was separated. Now I’m trying to find my tour group again. Do you want to take me to find them?”
The young man snorted coldly. “Don’t pretend. You are from China’s Special Administration Bureau. Since you came to Nagoya, your every move has been under the control of Mr. Otowa. Aren’t you here to save someone? If you leave like this, are you not afraid the person you want to save will die?”
The old man looked at him for a moment and finally said, “When did you find out?”
Once he adjusted his accent, his entire person seemed to change, even in temperament.
The young man proudly said, “After you came to Nagoya, haven’t you contacted your agent, who has been lurking here? In fact, he has been under our surveillance for a long time. As soon as he met you, we knew that you must be a special agent sent by the Special Administration Bureau.”
The old man said with a smile, “It seems that Otowa tentacles are quite long. He even knows the list of our secret agents.”
Young Man: “Master’s power is greater than you imagine. Call your companions and come out together. What’s the point of hiding?”
The old man sneered. “Laozi can crush you all by myself. What kind of companions do I need?”
The young man snorted, apparently not convinced. The distance between him and the old man was originally about ten meters, but the old man saw his figure move slightly, and the distance was reduced to only a few meters in a blink of an eye and even disappeared out of thin air, as if it had evaporated in an instant.
But the old man simply snorted and suddenly grabbed somewhere in the air. After hearing a scream, the young man suddenly appeared and fell to the ground. His arms had been twisted into a weird posture, most likely broken.
“With your ninjutsu skills, you dare challenge me?! Even your ninjutsu master, Takuya Suzuki, doesn’t even dare to be so brazen in front of me!” After the old man said this, all the bones in his body clicked. In the surprised eyes of the young man, the old man’s rickety waist slowly straightened. The old man took off his glasses and tore off the wig on his head. His figure immediately grew taller, and his age and momentum also changed by 180 degrees.
The young man got up in pain but didn’t dare make any movements and respectfully said, “May I ask your excellency’s name?”
“Don’t change your name when you go, don’t change your surname when you sit*. Go and tell Otowa Yasuhiko that laozi is Wu Bingtian and I’m here to smash his place!” the other party said with his hands clasped behind his back.
*(行不改名，坐不改姓) Idiom referring to not concealing one’s real name under any circumstances.
The young man hesitated, then, respectfully, while holding his arm in pain but not daring to take care of it, extended a polite invitation gesture to Wu Bingtian.
He led him to a small hut with an open door. There was no furnishing inside; only four lamps were lit by candle in the corners. There was a screen in the middle lined with gold and silver and having lacquer brushwork. The painting showed a hundred ghosts walking at night. Humans were being crushed by evil spirits, with their limbs and arms broken and their blood flowing like a river. Their wails and screams of pain were silently transmitted through the gorgeous brushstrokes, as if the pieces of the cherry blossoms depicted in the corner of the screen were stained with blood after falling, expressing the ultimate fragility and beauty of cruelty.
Wu Bingtian’s gaze stayed on the painting on the screen for a moment and soon fell on the person sitting in front of the screen.
This was an old man with gray hair and a straight spine. Just from his appearance, no one would think he was anything special, and before Wu Bingtian knew his true identity, he only regarded him as an entrepreneur with deep ties to Japan’s political and economic circles.
Otowa was making tea.
He acted like a human and made it himself, but his movements were slow, as if he were performing a solemn and grand ceremony. Without looking up at Wu Bingtian, he said, “The famous Director Wu has arrived, but why is he alone?”
Wu Bingtian pretended to be surprised. “A demon can speak human language?”
Otowa said slowly, “Director Wu, your companion is still in my hands. Do you think it’s useful to deliberately irritate me?”
Wu Bingtian said lightly, “Since you know that I’m Wu Bingtian, you should know that even if I come alone, I can achieve my goal.”
Otowa sighed. “I’m afraid that you’ll also fall here. So, who did the Special Administration Bureau send to back you up? Long Shen? Or Song Zhicun?”
Wu Bingtian: “I don’t need it. It’s enough for me to deal with you. I’m here today, not only to ask you for someone but also to recover a blood debt from you.”
He stared at Otowa and said heavily, word by word, “The blood debt of December 13, 1937, Asaka Yasuhiko. Do you remember?”
“How can I not remember?”
Otowa paused while pouring tea and finally raised his head, as if he were looking at Wu Bingtian, but more like looking at others through Wu Bingtian. He was at ease, not at all nervous that his identity had been exposed, but instead showed a nostalgic expression.
“At the beginning of that year, I was appointed the commander of the Shanghai Dispatch Army. I later went to Nanjing to replace Matsui and become the commander-in-chief after the capture of Nanjing. At that time, Tanaka came to ask me what to do with the hundreds of thousands of soldiers and civilians in Nanjing. At that time, I was suffering from a splitting headache, and I wished to kill everyone who was an eyesore, so I told him to kill them all and leave no one behind.”
Otowa said happily, “From that day until two months later, my subordinates have been killing people for two full months. Ammunition couldn’t be wasted, so they were chopped with swords. I went to see and saw that the sabers had been cut to the point where the blade curled. Blood flowed everywhere, staining the grass at the base of the city wall red, but when I saw the blood and heard the screams, my headache got much better, so I asked them to bring prisoners to me so I can try it myself.”
Wu Bingtian clenched his fist, but he didn’t want to interrupt Otowa. He even controlled his breathing very well, letting the other party go on with interest.
Recalling the past, Otowa seemed reminiscent. Let alone regret, he looked filled with joy, as if the massacre itself would bring him endless happiness.
“Before that, I hadn’t killed anyone with my own hands. Those captives were tied up, but I didn’t have them gagged. Two of them kept scolding me while two of them cried. They beg for mercy and to let them go.”
“There was another person who was very interesting. He thought that the killings were just the rampant actions of the officers below, and he thought that I didn’t know. He kept persuading me to be noble, to be kind, to love the people, and not to be overbearing. It’s really ridiculous. These aren’t my people. Why should I love them?”
Otowa smiled slightly. “I thought he was very annoying, so I started with him first. I wanted to try your ancient forms of Chinese torture on these people, but it was too troublesome to burn them, and I wouldn’t have the pleasure of doing it myself. I still prefer lingchi. Cutting the flesh off of him one knife at a time, making him bleed, suffer, and cry but unable to die. Look, when it comes to cruelty, the ancestors of your country aren’t much crueler than me. At the very least, I can’t think of a worse way than cutting someone up with more than 3,000 cuts.”
“Why, those people invented such a cruel punishment, yet you don’t condemn it. I just killed a few people, and you chased me?”
At the end, his expression was a little surprised, as if he were discussing an extremely esoteric topic with Wu Bingtian.
Wu Bingtian was originally good at acting, but he couldn’t maintain his smile anymore, leaving only indifference. “I haven’t met such a person you mentioned, but if I run into him, I won’t let him go.”
Otowa suddenly said, “Oh, is that so? Well, let’s continue talking about that person. I started with him first, but for the first time, it was inevitable that my technique was unskilled. I only cut him more than thirty times before I accidentally killed him. But practice makes perfect. My skills greatly improved with the other three, and the last one died after being cut by more than two hundred times.”
“But the most interesting thing is their reaction before they die. I put those who cried and begged in the front and those who cursed me in the back. When it was one of the scolders’ turn, he no longer could curse me but instead kept crying and begging me to let him go. Sorry. I’m being long-winded. Does Director Wu still want to listen?”
Wu Bingtian: “Yes.”
Only by knowing more clearly could it be possible to dig out more of the inside story of that year and find out more details about the enemy.
But why was Otowa talking so much to him, whom he had just met for the first time? Wu Bingtian didn’t know. His understanding of Otowa Yasuhiko only stopped at the name that occasionally appeared in the news. Even the information in the archives of the Special Administration Bureau didn’t describe this well-known entrepreneur too much. He only knew that Otowa had no children and had a huge net worth.
Perhaps it was because Otowa had been hiding for too long and he hadn’t met someone who was evenly matched, so this aroused his desire to confide in him; maybe Wu Bingtian, as a Chinese visitor, reminded him of the past; or maybe, he already regarded him as a turtle trapped in a jar and he had nothing to fear.
Otowa nodded and said leisurely, “I have heard people say that the first time you kill someone, your hands will tremble and you can’t sleep all night. But it’s strange. Instead of feeling this way, I felt warm and comfortable all over. Since then, I have known that killing can make me happy.”
Wu Bingtian: “Just because of this, it’s impossible for you to turn into a demon.”
Otowa: “Of course, there was a lot of killing at that time. I wasn’t the one who killed the most. At most, I just realized the true meaning of killing. If you want to talk about the opportunity, we have to go back to the aftermath of Nanjing.”
Wu Bingtian couldn’t help but let out a sneer. It was the first time he had heard that a massacre still had true meaning.
Otowa said seriously, “Director Wu, you regard promotion as your life goal, and my dream is to paint the world with charcoal and turn it into hell. Is there a difference?”
Wu Bingtian said angrily, “I’m not as shameless as you, abandoning your humanity to become a beast!”
Otowa smiled. “Well, let’s not argue about this. I’m only telling you because I also have unanswered questions in my heart and need to ask you to help me solve them. Are you sure you want to end this conversation?”
Wu Bingtian remained silent.
Otowa continued, “That year, a Japanese ship sank in the Yangtze River. At that time, it was suspected that the Chinese were secretly doing something, so a large-scale search and salvage was carried out. Unexpectedly, a stone box was salvaged from the Yangtze River. The Japanese in charge of the salvage heard that I like to collect antiques, so they asked someone to send the box to me. As soon as I saw the box, I thought it was very strange because it looked like a complete stone, but there were seams on the top and bottom, and the carvings were exquisite, but there was no keyhole, let alone a lock. Tell me, can it still be opened?”
Wu Bingtian snorted coldly. “As long as you want, you can open it. You can even use explosives!”
Otowa didn’t care about his tone and just shook his head. “No, you can’t use explosives. At that time, I was afraid the contents inside would be destroyed.”
Wu Bingtian knew that he was about to hear the critical details next, perhaps related to the secret of how Otowa Yasuhiko became a demon, so he didn’t interrupt him and listened calmly.
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2 thoughts on “Bu Tian Gang Ch131”
ooh things are starting to get unveiled..
thanks you for the new chapter